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Punctuation through history and in the field

Shady Characters is (to quote Harvard’s John Overholt) “this year’s single best history of punctuation blog”:

The pilcrow [ΒΆ] is not just some typographic curiosity, useful only for livening up a coffee-table book on graphic design or pointing the way to a paragraph in a mortgage deed, but a living, breathing character with its roots in the earliest days of punctuation. Born in ancient Rome, refined in medieval scriptoria, appropriated by England’s most famous modern typographer and finally rehabilitated by the personal computer, the story of the pilcrow is intertwined with the evolution of modern writing. It is the quintessential shady character.

Meanwhile, Bethany Keeley-Jonker’s “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks remains consistently fun. Even as the same “jokes” pop up over and over again β€” gratuitous/suspicion-inducing quotes around “fresh” seem to be particularly popular lately β€” the glosses make all the difference:


Get in your time machine, and go to this appointment, in “2011”. Good luck figuring out when that is. Maybe this is really a commentary on the actual birth year of Christ.

See also “Ampersand blog,” “De inventione punctus.”